Hiring season can be painful for everyone: the applicants, the hiring team, your finance department, and your current employees. What can you do to make seasonal hiring easier on everyone involved? These three strategies for seasonal hiring and onboarding will make a difficult transition smoother – and help you get your business back to ‘business as usual’ this holiday season.
Talk to Current Employees
Before you enlist dozens of new employees to help you round out your holiday season, have a chat with your current workers. Does anyone want to take on more hours? If your current employees want to work a bit more, there’s no need to hire quite so much additional help. They already know the ropes, so you don’t need to worry about training. And they’ll appreciate the extra hours. Even if you’re paying overtime, you’re likely to save money in the long run. The cost of advertising for, interviewing, hiring, and training a new seasonal employee likely outweighs the additional expense of overtime pay.
If your current employees aren’t interested in taking on more hours, make seasonal hiring easier by asking them for recommendations. They may know of friends or acquaintances looking for seasonal work. More than 70% of people get a job through networking. Leverage the social network of current employees to find seasonal employees who will be excited to join the team. It’s a win for everyone – your new hire gets a job, your current employee gets to help out a connection, and you have another position filled.
Know the Labor Laws
The last thing you want is to run afoul of local or federal labor laws regarding seasonal employees. Talk with your hiring team to make sure they are representing the seasonal jobs correctly. Are workers full time, part time, or independent contractors? Detail the duration of employment in writing to avoid confusion when the season ends. Do you need to offer health benefits? Under the Affordable Care Act, you may need to provide health insurance for employees who work over 30 hours a week for more than 120 days. The rules for health insurance are complex; familiarize yourself with them before you start hiring, so you don’t have to pay a penalty later on.
You can make seasonal hiring easier by following the same procedures you’d use for a full-time employee. Collect the appropriate forms, including W4s or W9s. Track hours and attendance for each employee, so you have documentation if there’s ever a question about whether or not laws were followed. Remember, anti-harassment, retaliation, and discrimination laws are just as applicable for seasonal employees. Go through your employee handbook and look at each benefit. Will your seasonal employees be entitled to these benefits? Make the qualifications for each benefit clear, so employees don’t claim that they are entitled to them later on. Lastly, a thorough onboarding process is essential.
Onboarding is just as important for seasonal employees as it is for traditional ones – if not more so. In addition to the conventional onboarding process, develop opportunities for your seasonal employees to train on the job as well. Have each seasonal employee spend at least a day or two shadowing a more experienced colleague. Schedule weekly meetings to discuss each employee’s progress, and to answer any questions he or she might have. Consider expanding your onboarding program to add occasional training sessions before or after closing, when seasonal employees can role play different scenarios and practice their skills.
Don’t neglect your seasonal employees just because they’re only going to be around for a few short months. They have a strong influence on your bottom line during this busy season. The holiday season may only last a few months, but it can account for as much as 30% of annual sales in some industries, according to the National Retail Federation. Follow seasonal hiring best practices, educate yourself on the labor laws, and make sure you’re coaching and training your new hires throughout their tenure. These strategies will make the holidays a bit cheerier for everyone.
Here are 9 tips to guide you to the best possible ATS for your company.
9 Tips For Choosing An ATS Solution in 2019
When investigating an ATS solution, you want to determine:
1. What value will the ATS provide?
Before considering any solution, you must decide just what your company’s recruitment and acquisition needs are and will be. Once determined, you look for those ATS features that should bring to fruition those objectives. Then, determine if those features fit your budget.
2. How easy is the application to use for all parties?
Explore the intuitiveness of the application. Can you and your team – and the recruit – easily navigate the screens? Sometimes, an abundance of features and layers of screens can do more harm than good in terms of working with the software. The simpler the operation, the sooner the team accepts it and the faster its onboarding – another paramount concern.
Also consider what kind of candidate experience does an ATS offer? You will lose valuable prospects if the job application process is clunky, frustrating and, ultimately, dismissed.
3. How sophisticated is the software?
- Does the ATS integrate with your other apps and salient third-party software?
- How does the vendor handle upgrades?
- Is the ATS scalable, so it can grow with your company?
- Does the ATS allow you to post to multiple job sites (issue No. 1 for SMBs!).
- Can users manage resumes, collaborate with recruiters and integrate with job boards?
- These handy features contribute to a speedier hiring workflow.
- Perhaps even more critical, does the ATS support employee referrals?
- Because referrals remain the best method to find candidates, you want an ATS that demonstrates a clear means to attract and reward referrals from your team.
- Is data migration from legacy systems – and to future systems – available?
- Can the ATS bulk import data?
- With input from many sources and different candidates, make sure it can integrate with various databases and specific file types.
4. Is workflow management diffused or – better – centralized?
It’s recommended that the easier it is for the team to access the right information at the right time by the right people, the better prepared they will be for an interview – and the smoother the interview will go.
5. Does the vendor offer a no-hassle, no-cost trial of the ATS?
You want to kick the tires, try it on for size. If for any reason you’re not feeling comfortable or confident with a particular ATS, you can avoid long-term commitment and back away after a free trial.
6. Are the reporting capabilities sufficient for our needs?
Are reports templated? Can you customize ad-hoc reports to identify the source of a hire, the number of candidates in queue, and respective qualifications? Will report creation by arduous or straightforward?
7. How do the search functions work?
You want a fast, accurate search with results organized in a logical and intuitive way.
8. What is the breadth and scope of customer support?
When an issue arises, is customer support available? Do you have to pay for it? To what extent can CS help? Because CS is critical to the success of any software company, this question must be answered.
9. Is the ATS mobile?
In 2019, a distributed workforce will be even more routine. For global companies of any size, any member of a hiring team should be able to review candidates, schedule interviews, leave feedback and check the workflow from anywhere, at any time and on any device.
The ATS Market is Growing (For Good Reason)
According to current research, the global applicant tracking software (ATS) market size is projected to grow from $1.21 billion this year to $1.81 billion by 2023. That’s a healthy Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.3%.
And why not? The economy is running full-speed ahead. Unemployment has finally rebounded from the Great Recession and is the lowest in half a century. Besides a robust GDP, the upshot of low unemployment is the premium it places on finding qualified candidates for job vacancies.
So, it’s no wonder that demand for ATS surges. After all, if a company can grease the gears of its recruitment efforts, finding and acquiring the most qualified talent becomes faster and easier. And a good Applicant Tracking System does just that, streamlining sourcing, social engagement and the entire hiring workflow through a solitary integrated platform.
For 2019, ATS solutions will be even more “fortified” with artificial intelligence (AI) advances. Notwithstanding AI-induced automation that will minimize friction in the hiring workflow (anyone for machine-generated reminders based on deadlines and company objectives and workflow-assessing analytics?), choosing the best ATS for your company requires more than just picking the most “automated” solution.
A good applicant tracking system not only makes it easier for all stakeholders to store, organize, and access critical information at any time, but also offers insights into those candidate qualities that your company is seeking. It should let users manage multiple recruitment initiatives from a single platform at the same time.
Pick the wrong ATS and you could have a recruitment and acquisition debacle on your hands that leads to lost talent, unhappy management, discouraged team members and wasted time and money.
Pick the right ATS and you’ll find an improved quality to new hires, as well as a reduction in cost-per-hire. Your team remains motivated. Your hires get happy. And you get better, faster and more cost-effective recruitment that’s repeatable.
By Keith Craig Last updated September 10, 2019
What’s something that 95% of Fortune 500 companies use, but only 26% of employers have discovered? Fortune 500 CEOs are taking advantage of the many applicant tracking system benefits for their company. These benefits apply to a small or medium-sized business, too! Here are just a few ways an applicant tracking system benefits companies.
It Saves Time
An applicant tracking system can automate many of the manual tasks that a recruiter or HR team member is currently performing. ApplicantStack allows candidates to search resumes for keywords, automatically screening out unqualified candidates. Recruiters can create, manage, and schedule email form letters to remain in contact with applicants. Action items can be assigned to specific team members, so you can find and fix holdups.
It Saves Money
When you’re saving time, you’re saving money. A small company can save up to $10,000 using an applicant tracking system. In the United States, the average cost to hire a single employee ranges from $3,000 to $4,000. An ATS can save you serious money by streamlining your hiring process.
Applicants Love It
Applying for a job is dreary enough, and it doesn’t take much for an applicant to abandon a frustrating form. You need a mobile-friendly interface, quick communication, and smooth scheduling. Among the many applicant tracking system benefits is the ability to create a positive experience for your candidates.
Companies Love It
The reason so many Fortune 500 companies use an ATS is because it works so well! In addition to making your hiring process more efficient, an applicant tracking system offers the benefit of data collection and analysis. HR departments can figure out which candidate sources are working well. Cost-per-hire is easily calculated, and bottlenecks can be identified and fixed
Want to learn more about the many applicant tracking system benefits you could be taking advantage of? Check out our infographic below!
Indeed Assessments Integration Helps Employers Connect with the Best Candidates Faster
A data-driven hiring approach will help your organization win the battle for top talent against your competitors. That’s why ApplicantStack is partnering with Indeed Assessments, a candidate screening platform in which candidates have taken over 2.4 million candidate assessments.*
So what does the integration mean for you?
Trying to get to the best applicants as quickly as possible can be tough—but not with Indeed Assessments. From the Indeed Assessments platform, you have the opportunity to create an assessment package tailored to the exact job for which you are hiring. When you navigate back to ApplicantStack, you’ll be able to select that assessment package and either send to individual candidates or push out the assessment automatically when a candidate hits a predefined stage in your pipeline. As the candidates take the assessments, you will see their scores populate in ApplicantStack and can return to Indeed Assessments at indeed.com/assessments for additional details, if needed. In these simple steps, you’ll be able to view the most qualified people for your jobs so you have more successful interview processes.
Talk to the best candidates faster
There’s almost nothing more disappointing in the recruiting process than reaching out to a seemingly perfect candidate and finding out you missed your window—they’re far along with another company. Indeed Assessments lets you see your candidates in action quickly so you can figure out who makes a great match for the role right away and move them along in the process.
Objective screening, data-driven evaluation
Even with the proper precautions, hiring bias can still occur. Luckily, it’s nearly effortless with the ApplicantStack and Indeed Assessments partnership. Utilizing these two platforms, you can bring a data-driven approach to your screening process. These tools will help remove bias and ensure your candidate evaluations are consistent across the board.
Custom and prebuilt screening tools
Sometimes you know exactly what you need in your candidate screening evaluation, and other times you could use a bit of guidance on the requirements. That’s why ApplicantStack’s partnership with Indeed Assessments unlocks access to a library of over 50 expertly designed, prebuilt assessments, or you can customize your own to bring the right talent forward.
ApplicantStack’s integration with Indeed Assessments makes it possible for you to move your candidates along the hiring process with confidence. Whether you’re hiring for hourly or salaried positions, you’ll be able to identify and connect with the best talent faster thanks to this partnership.
A Statement from Indeed
“Indeed is very careful with making acquisitions, and was an early investor in Interviewed.com, as well as implemented its product on our site well before we made the acquisition. We acquired Interviewed.com and started Indeed Assessments because we believe it’s a game changer for candidates and employers. Whether or not we charge in 2019, we want as many employers and candidates using it as possible, and it will be priced to make that happen. Anyone who signs up in 2018 will have Assessments free in 2019.”
*Source: Data refers to Interviewed platform, which was acquired by Indeed, Inc. and is now referred to as Indeed Assessments.
While seasonal hiring isn’t limited to the holidays (think summer lifeguards), the winter holidays are most commonly associated with hiring seasonal employees. Seasonal hiring presents a particular challenge to employers. Competition for quality employees is stiff. Onboarding needs to be successful and immediate. If you don’t start training early, seasonal employees are left to sink or swim.
So what seasonal hiring best practices can help your hiring team overcome these challenges? Do you know how to recruit seasonal players? There are a few rules of thumb that will lead you to success during this busy season.
Some major retailers begin the application process for seasonal employees as early as June, especially when the job market is tight. With major players adding tens of thousands of workers each holiday season, a small or medium-sized business has to make sure it’s competitive. If you don’t start advertising seasonal positions early on, you’re going to be behind the ball when the holidays roll around.
If you haven’t begun advertising your seasonal jobs yet, don’t panic. You can still beat out the competition by offering better benefits. What kinds of things do seasonal workers want? Higher wages never hurt, but flexibility tops the list of demands. New apps and sites have made it easy for seasonal applicants to comparison shop, so you need to find a way to stand out. Leverage technology like your applicant tracking system to enable applicants to schedule interviews at their convenience. Make sure you’re able to tell your workers their schedules at least a week in advance. Although these employees won’t stay with you for long, they will affect your bottom line. And a happy employee is a productive one, especially in sales.
Post your seasonal job where it’s most likely to be seen by the kinds of people you’re looking for. College job boards, Craigslist, and Facebook are all good sites to find someone who wants seasonal work. An applicant tracking system like ApplicantStack can make it easier to post jobs to niche sites. You can even track which applicants are coming from which sites to determine your most effective advertising avenue. Unless you need very specific skills or have certain prerequisites, you may want to skip the fee-based job sites. Those tend to be frequented by applicants who are looking for a longer-term career rather than a seasonal job.
Interview In Person.
Or at least on video. When you’re only hiring someone for a few months, attitude matters most. You don’t have time to nurture and teach your seasonal employees to connect with peers and customers. In retail, especially, likability matters. A resume won’t tell you if a candidate is respectful, enthusiastic, confident, and poised. That’s something you need to see to assess. In-person interviews are time-consuming, especially if you’re hiring en masse. ApplicantStack integrates with Google Calendar and Outlook, so you can eliminate scheduling complexities and easily find times that work for everyone. Consider hosting group in-person interviews, or use video interviews instead. Face-to-face interviews are part of seasonal hiring best practices because they yield the best results.
Think Long Term.
Don’t neglect to ask about an applicant’s long-term plans just because he or she is only with you for the season. If you can hire someone year after year, that person will become familiar with your processes. College students, for example, can be a great choice for seasonal hires. They may have the same season off each year for several years. They like knowing that they can count on you to employ them when they’re on break, and you like knowing that your seasonal new hire isn’t completely “new.” If someone might need a seasonal job next year, take that into account during the hiring process.
Be Ready to Go.
Once you’ve sealed the deal with your new hire, get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. Use your applicant tracking software to send and receive the necessary paperwork. Smooth out any wrinkles in your onboarding process. If possible, upload safety and training videos to your new hires’ accounts so they can view them at their convenience. Use a questionnaire to get your employees’ uniform sizes and order them ahead of time. Set yourself – and your new hires – up for success by giving them as much information as they can handle before Day 1.
Seasonal hiring best practices can guide you as you make your hiring choices for the holiday season. Snap decisions are necessary, though, and you’re likely to experience some turnover. Once your employees are on board, don’t neglect them. Employee engagement can help lower those churn rates. Training should be ongoing; offer opportunities for promotion. Who knows? That part-time worker may become a key full-time asset.